Single-Parent Led Families

Did You Know?

  • Research shows that successful single-parent families have the following characteristics1:

    • Parents encourage open communication and expression of feelings

    • Discipline is consistent and democratic

    • Parents recognize the need to care for themselves

  • About half of all American children can expect to live with both of their biological parents at age fifteen. 2

  • Consider the tips below to help you raise successful kids as a single parent.
  • Make sure you get the support you need. When you get safety instructions on an airplane, they remind you to put your own oxygen mask on first, before helping others. We can be there for our kids in the ways they need us more easily if we have gotten the support and recuperation we need each week.
  • Get simple tips for everyday self-care >
    Learn more about why all parents need parenting mentors >
  • Rules can differ at separate households. This can create conflict or confusion. Best case scenario, adults work together to keep rules similar at all houses. But if this can’t work, don’t change your expectations without careful consideration. Work to be extra clear with your kids about the reasoning behind your rules and empathize with the challenge they may have in adapting from one home to another.
  • Get tips for setting boundaries as a family >
  • Support your kids’ connections to trusted adults outside the family. Having another place to air their concerns, receive support and get affirmation can be a great asset.
  • Learn more about why all kids need mentors >
    Learn how to create a caring team of adults to help your child grow up well >

    1. Bailey, S. J. (2001). Building strong single-parent families. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University Extension Service. Retrieved from

    2. Ellwood, D. T., & Jencks, C. (2004). The spread of single-parent families in the United States since 1960. KSG Working Paper No. RWP04-008.Retrieved from

    3. Ricciuti, H. N. (2004).Single parenthood, achievement, and problem behavior in White, Black, and Hispanic children. Journal of Educational Research, 97 (4), 196-206.